31 March 2021
In a little alcove near my kitchen, I have three rubbish bins.
Only one of them I actually classify as for rubbish.
One is for recycling that my council rubbish collection bins will accept – cardboard, milk bottles, glass jars, metal tins and so forth. The council is fairly selective in what it accepts as recycling so this bin is monitored quite intently.
Then there’s the soft plastic bin, where clean soft plastics are stored. When this bin gets full I have to empty them into another single use plastic bag, squish them all down, and take them to the special bins inside supermarkets that take soft plastic recycling.
And then there’s the rubbish bin. This accepts all the stuff that can’t be composted, reused, recycled or repurposed.
Apart from the three bins, there are other plastic tins where used stuff gets put. There’s a large tub where bottles and containers that I can get a 10c refund for, get stored until the tub is full.
Then there’s the small plastic container where I put plastic milk bottle lids, bread bag tags and other small bits of plastic that don’t qualify for the other bins.
There is also a container where I keep decent jars and lids that may or may not get reused for jam or something similar.
I don’t know about you, but my interpretation of ‘rubbish’ has changed over the past decade or so.
It used to be that anything I had personally finished using, was rubbish. Sure – newspapers and milk bottles got into the recycling bin, but very little else. If I was saving jars for a particular purpose then they got cleaned and kept in the laundry until I got sick of a cupboard full of empty jars.
Nowadays, rubbish is a term that is very much in the eye of the rubbisher.
I saw a news article a while back about someone who proudly showed off their annual rubbish collection – I suspect it was a small ziplock bag sized collection of things that they could not possibly do anything else with. These are the dedicated sort of people who buy food from stores where you can bring your own containers, and are very very diligent with everything else.
Well done to them. The world would be a much better place if we managed our own rubbish even a fraction as well.
The mindset of ‘rubbish versus reusable’ is something that we are all slowly learning, but hopefully our grandchildren will grow up instinctively knowing.
Some local councils now issue three wheelie bins to their residents – one for compostable/garden waste, one for recycling, and a smaller one for rubbish. My local council hasn’t got that advanced yet, but I live in hope that they will soon. (All I’d need then is one for the soft plastics, and a tiny one for the plastic lids).
How many bins do you have for your ‘rubbish’?